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EastEnders breast cancer storyline

Soap's matriarch will find lump in her breast
WebMD UK Health News
Medically Reviewed by Dr Keith David Barnard

27th November 2013 – EastEnders character, Carol Jackson, will be at the centre of a breast cancer story in the run up to Christmas. The show's matriarch will discover a lump in her breast and will be referred to a specialist for tests. The results, and their impact, will be explored in the New Year.

Breast cancer is the most common cancer in the UK and EastEnders producers have worked closely with leading breast cancer experts and charities whilst researching the storyline.


Images courtesy of BBC Pictures

Expert advisors

Clinical Oncologist, Dr Alastair Thomson, has been involved in reviewing the EastEnders scripts. He says in a press release: " Cancer is such an important and common issue, affecting many lives in the UK. Breast cancer now affects 1 in 8 women in this country. This means there are 50,000 new diagnoses every year. The cancer diagnosis hits the patient hard, but also impacts widely on her friends and family."

Jacqui Graves, Head of Health and Social Care at Macmillan Cancer Support says in a prepared statement: "Sadly, thousands of women like Carol are diagnosed with breast cancer every year in the UK so we congratulate EastEnders for helping to raise awareness of the condition."

Previous editions

This isn't the first time that EastEnders has highlighted breast cancer in its plotlines: in 1987, Sue Osman (Sandy Ratcliff) discovered a lump in her breast that turned out to be benign, while Peggy Mitchell (Barbara Windsor) was diagnosed with the disease in 1996, resulting in a mastectomy in 1999 following the return of her cancer.

Dominic Treadwell-Collins, the soap's Executive Producer says: "EastEnders has a long tradition of dealing with social issues and breast cancer is one that the majority of people have been affected by in some way. And this is not just a story about breast cancer. This is a story about women, about mothers and daughters, and ultimately about family."

Lindsey Coulson, who plays Carol, says: "Through Carol’s story I hope we can raise awareness of the impact of breast cancer on the people that have it and their families."

Reviewed on November 27, 2013

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